These days, travel and migration are much easier than in previous times. But there is a big problem. Many of us tend to distrust those who are different.
In many areas there have been cases where people were treated unfairly because of their nationality or appearance. More seriously, in some communities and countries there have been tensions, violence even, because of racial differences.
The Bible is ahead of its time. When God chose the Jewish nation to be His people, He enshrined the rights of other nations (the ‘Gentiles’). The Passover, a Jewish feast established at the time of Moses, was first kept in Egypt when God was freeing His people from slavery. At that time the same rules applied for Jews and Gentiles.
“When a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it ... One law shall be for the native–born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”
This is made even clearer in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Passover sacrifice. He was a Jew but sacrificed himself so that everyone can be part of God’s plan. Jesus said, “I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself”.
God’s invitation is open to everyone. The Apostle Paul says that through Jesus, all people can be included in the great promises of the Old Testament. He explains how the death and resurrection of Jesus brings everyone together.
“As many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”.
The challenge for us is whether we are prepared to respond to this amazing invitation from our Creator? If we do, we have a wonderful future to look forward to. The Apostle John, in a symbolic vision of God’s purpose being fulfilled, saw “A great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb”.